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Oldham County avoids winless season in 31-26 win over Jeffersontown

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By Elliott Pratt

 BUCKNER — On All Hallows’ Eve, Oldham County didn’t pull any tricks to deserve the treat it had searched for all season.

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The Colonels defense accounted for three scores and Oldham County got its first win of the season on Senior Night 31-26 over Jeffersontown.

OC (1-9) ended its season with a win to avoid the first winless season in school history. 

“We fought all year, but we were just unlucky at times with critical mistakes and a lot of self-inflicted wounds,” coach Mike Shatzer said. “I’m ecstatic for these kids. At the end of the day, it’s about these players and we’ve had a lot of adversity this year and things we’ve had to work through as a team and as a program, but I wouldn’t trade this bunch for anybody in the state and I’m just really proud of our guys and how they fought.”

It was a Senior Night Isiah Kelly, Caleb Ayers and Spencer Johnson will never forget.

On Jeffersontown’s opening drive, the Colonels defense got to Dylan Adkins in the backfield and forced a fumble. Kelly recovered and returned the ball 46 yards for the opening score that gave OC a 7-0 lead.

After a Blake Caudill punt pinned the Chargers (2-8) deep at their own 4-yard line, Ayers and junior Will Stanley worked to push Adkins out of the back of the end zone for a safety to lead 9-0 after the first quarter.

Sophomore Chanse Lanham got a 12-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter to give OC its third defensive score in the first half.

“We made a lot of adjustments and switched people around a lot,” Kelly said. “We have a lot of seniors on our team and we wanted to go out with a win. Obviously, this year didn’t go as planned, but we fought and we got the win and it’s the best thing ever. I know we went 1-9, but I got a win my last game, not a lot of people can say that.”

Johnson intercepted an Adkins pass in the fourth quarter and punched it in for a 1-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to give OC its highest-scoring game this season.

“We could either be the team that went 0-10 for the first time in school history or we can be 1-9,” Johnson said. “That’s the one 20 years from now that you tell your kids about or when you see each other out is you’ll remember that one win and ringing the bell for that last time.”

Though the Colonels defense accounted for 15 points, the break away speed of Adkins and Josh Ellery kept the Chargers in the game.

Adkins improvised on a busted play to the left and turned to the right side of the field to break for a 93-yard touchdown run and Ellery scored on a 70-yard run later in the second quarter. Ellery ran in the two-point conversion attempt to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 2:30 left in the first half.

J-Town forced an OC punt and Ellery took the first snap 70-yards down the field to set up Adkins’ 5-yard touchdown run for the Chargers’ 20-17 halftime lead.

Ayers recovered a fumble at midfield to give OC’s offense a chance at taking back the lead in the third quarter.

Harding found Stanley down the right sideline for a 48-yard completion to set up OC inside the J-Town 5-yard line.

Harding threw a fade to Luis Rodriguez in the left corner of the end zone to regain the lead at 24-20.

After Johnson’s touchdown run put OC up 31-20, J-Town scored on Dakota White’s 6-yard run with a minute left to play, but couldn’t convert the two-point conversion or recover the onside kick as the Colonels held on for the win.

“It’s been a lot of adversity,” Ayers said. “If (J-Town) got to the wide side of the field and they were open, then they were pretty much gone. We were trying to funnel them inside to where all our guys were so at that point we were trying to slow them down so we could get them.

“It felt good to go out on a good note. The stars aligned and t worked out for us.”